Can't Be Careful on a Skateboard II
August 3, 2007

I adore the X-Games. We have DISH and a DVR now, so I can actually WATCH the X-Games. So it was with great anticipation that I waited for the DVR to flip the channel last night.

I was excited to see some "no-name" (Scott Murray) from Helps, Michigan, make it to the X-Games. It's great when some "youngster" gets a shot at the big time. But my word ... the first event was the skateboard Big Air and the ramp!! Take a peek:

 

These dudes are just flying over this thing, doing tricks across the gap, land that, then go up the vert wall as high as possible (they were mostly hitting right around 18-20 feet high), do a trick and then, of course, land it. Scoring was on both how high they could go and how impressive their two tricks were. For this, you've got to have the tightest trucks you can imagine (I know most of you don't know much about skateboarding - loose trucks = wobbliness and easy turns ... tight trucks = less wobble, much more difficult to make a turn).

Jake Brown from Australia does a freaking 720 degrees of rotation across that gap. SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY degrees of rotation! He's going fast, fast, fast. Up the quarter pipe ... and then:

 

He falls about 50 feet. I'm not gonna show him hitting. I was totally flipping out. I've never seen a pro boarder hit that hard. It was insane. I thought he was dead, or paralyzed ... the whole place was just chilled. One skateboarder friend said he was sure that Jake was dead, because when he got up there, the dude's eyes were open but he wasn't breathing.

No effin' way! Jake Brown hobbled off the ramp. I'm still waiting to hear how much damage was done, but the dude was able to walk (sort of) away.

Unreal.

What I find most interesting is the reactions of those into extreme sports ... and those who don't understand them at all. For me, I know I would never ever be of the skill level to attempt a mega-ramp like that. But would I push myself to do some skillz-appropriate similar stunt? Yeah, sure I would. It's about defining a goal and feeling that utter freedom ... the rush of speed ... the wind ... pushing yourself to your limits until you achieve what you set out to achieve.

Those people who are not so much into extreme sports look at just the ramp and ask WHY?

And so far as I can tell, it's because we all feel that freedom and expression of stretching and joy in completely different ways. For some of us, it's the challenge to program something more efficiently which works better, to design something more efficiently, to write something which captures a universal longing.

There's a million ways that we feel that need to express and share and push ourselves. And, not everyone is going to "get" all of those ways.

But when you're watching someone who truly loves their way of expressing ... well, to me, even watching Jake damn near kill himself, watching skateboarding for me is probably what listening to a really good symphonic orchestra playing Beethoven is to someone else.

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Posted by Red Monkey at August 3, 2007 11:08 AM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

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